Binance Assists UK’s Police Catch A Bulgarian Selling Phishing Scripts in $50 Million Fraud Case
When the name “Binance” gets thrown around, people see images of the biggest Crypto trader by volume, but may now see them as a firm that helps protect citizens and keep them “SAFU” from phishing operations.
A Bulgarian by the name of Svetoslav Donchev was, rather comedically, arrested from his parents’ house. This was thanks to Binance assisting the UK police in tracking him down and bringing the hammer of the law down on him.
Donchev developed and sold scripts, mainly phishing protocols, that criminals further used to steal personal information, then, in turn, sold on the dark web for a profit. Personal information is a hot commodity among criminals, and Donchev’s scripts proved useful at stealing it.
When they finally caught up to Donchev, around 500 000 individuals had already fallen victim to his phishing scripts, and the money stolen from them tallies up to just over $51 million.
What’s important to note is that Donchev never really stole any of the information himself. He’s more of an illegal arms dealer than the man robbing the bank. This may have made him capable of doing it, removing himself from the victims themselves and having the ability to reason to himself,
“I didn’t do it. It’s fine.”
Or he could be a sociopath. You never really know.
Donchev even provided counter-detection software to the sites, making it harder for browser-based detection systems to realize that the cloned websites were fraudulent.
He could have provided scripts for up to 53 sites with the UK footprint, possibly more outside of it, where other criminals stole, logged and used personal information of various victims.
These phishing campaigns were usually started with emails of criminals pretending to be legitimate companies, having you click on the link to put you to a clone of the legitimate company. You enter your personal information there, and the criminals have access to your bank accounts, sure, but it goes a lot deeper than that. With your ID number, they could create false IDs, passports, even licenses. Information is king in the new world we’re moving to, and your personal information is worth more (and less) than you think.
Crypto: Bad idea for Criminals
Many people hold the assumption that using cryptocurrencies makes crime incredibly easy. It’s a completely anonymous way to transfer funds, and because of that, it means criminals can take the money and vanish like mist before the morning sun.
This is false. There’s always a log of your transaction. There may be no names attached, no personal information, but there is a log. And with the right technology, that log can be used to catch criminals.
With Binance’s assistance and a little bit of digging, the UK police managed to track a paper trail towards the Bulgarian fraudster, and in turn, arrested him.
Donchev soon pleaded guilty for five counts of fraud and will be sitting pretty in the UK prison system for at least four and a half years of his nine-year prison sentence.